Monthly Archives: January 2018

Is the US staying in Syria for ISIS or to stand against Iran? Has it learned from history?



By Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

In 2014, the US led a coalition of 59 countries to contain the “Islamic State” (ISIS) group’s expansion but not to eliminate it. For almost a year, and in contrast to Russia, this coalition carried out limited air attacks against the terrorist group without crippling its main source of existence: finance. Obama’s policy was well-defined: we are not in a hurry to defeat ISIS because the group is serving the US national interest, and has become a burden on Iran. Today, Donald Trump is following Obama’s footsteps on this issue, revealing that his troops will stay in Syria because of Iran- apparently forgetting that Syria is not the US’s comfort zone or friendly terrain but is Iran’s backyard. Trump’s attempt, after only 12 days in office, to modify or suspend the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran was one pawn to move in a chess game whose intention is to blur and fudge the issue as perceived by the international community and the American people. The US’s determined intention to occupy new territory in the Middle East (almost 15 years after the disastrous occupation of Iraq) is apparently not for public consumption.

But how could the US imagine that this is a realistic goal?

When Barak Obama declared war on ISIS, his forces considered that interrupting the terrorist group’s main source of finance was not a priority. ISIS enjoyed over $1.5 m a day of undisturbed black gold income from the illegal extraction of oil from the many oil fields in Syria and Iraq. Obama’s establishment wanted the world to believe that the concern was all about avoiding environmental damage, an unlikely reason for the 59 nation US-led coalition to refrain from crippling the main financial sources for a terrorist organisation. The precedence given to this concern gave it more importance than stopping the destruction, danger and suffering ISIS was causing throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and, indeed, in nearby Europe. Israel was much more straightforward than the US, stating the real reason behind the US’s avoidance of weakening the terrorist group: “We prefer ISIS to Iran”, said its Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.

Iran was fully engaged in Syria, providing oil (most Syrian energy was in the first five years of war in the hands of ISIS, al-Qaeda and their allies), finance (paying government employees and Army salaries), medical assistance (creating a pharmaceutical industry to replace the one destroyed by the war), and weapons (Iranian manufactured weapons and bought from Russia on behalf of Damascus).

Iran also provided 12,000 men from its own Special Forces within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iraqi allies (Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, Harakat al-Nujaba’, and more), plus Pakistanis and Afghans living in Iran who were part of the IRGC allied corps. Moreover, Lebanese Hezbollah poured thousands of fighters onto the battlefield to support Damascus’s forces. The number of these fighters fluctuated according to the needs and the development of this war being fought on multiple fronts.

Iran offered ground troops, along with the Syrian Army, to the Russian Air Force, aiming through this combination and through military coordination to change the course of the war in the Levant in favour of Damascus’s government. The Iranian-Russian intervention managed to stop the ‘regime change’ –long advocated by some of the countries of the region, the EU and the US, even at the cost of the fall of the multi-ethnic secular Syrian system, and its replacement by the intolerant Islamic radicals and radicalised fighters naturally dominating all other groups. This is what the world witnessed and acknowledged happening throughout the six years of war in Syria. However, the US Secretary of State John Kerry described these extremists (ISIS and al-Qaeda) as “the best fighters”.


Kerry went even further, revealing that many countries in the Middle East (he named Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel) prior to 2015, had asked him to bomb Iran, a sworn enemy of Saudi Arabia and the US. Iran became THE enemy in Syria whilst the Israelis learned to live with ISIS, its new neighbour, and considered to be a much easier neighbour than Hezbollah and Iran. Also, Saudi Arabia was and still is willing to invest in and support any country or groups ready to oppose the Shia expansion facilitated by Iran and its Islamic Republic since it saw the light in 1979. Donald Trump saw the opportunity: in exchange for billions of dollars, he was ready to trample precious values underfoot and align himself with Wahhabi Takfiri and their promoters. The US president hoped to boost his country’s economy and at the same time bring Iran to its knees, a long-term heartfelt dream of the US.


US-Iran history:

The US’s attempt to impose its control and dominance over Iran goes back to 1953. The US National Security Council has released a document confirming the use of the CIA’s extensive resources and its role in the 1953 ‘successful coup’ operation code name TPAJAX. The US overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, changing the historical trajectory of Iran.


The US president Dwight Eisenhower is the one who sanctioned the coup and installed “an American puppet who owed his throne to his ability to please his foreign sponsors” as described by John Limbert (“Negotiating With Iran”, 2009):the young Shah Reza Pahlavi. The US became the new colonial master (replacing the UK) and humiliated the Iranians by ruling the country through the Shah. Mosaddeq went, but the issue remained. The UK – who regarded the Iranians as “inefficient and incompetent inferior human beings” – supported the coup because they were afraid of Mosaddeq’s nationalism, the abolition of the monarchy, and the decision to end British manipulation of Iranian politics and wealth – and they feared the nationalisation of Iranian oil.

Eisenhower introduced a program called “Atoms for Peace” to help Iran set up a nuclear program, and sold Iran a five-megawatt nuclear reactor in 1967 following the advice of his establishment. Among these were Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney who played effective roles in convincing the Shah to go nuclear and buy eight nuclear reactors. Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan (the head of the first revolutionary government) immediately halted and cancelled the US deal. Here we see that it was the US itself who launched Iran on the Nuclear path. Many of the problems the US causes in the world are due to its unacknowledged reversals.


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The US appointed the Shah of Iran “royal dictator” – with the complicity of western governments (the United States and Israel played a special role, according to Prof Richard Cottam). He was responsible for the “terrible violations of the most elementary human rights” (the September 1978 Black Friday and the SAVAK’s role are but a few examples). But in truth western “morals and values” have never been the confirmed motivation for the US to stand against a state. They have always been used to justify regime change when it suited them. The US, if we are dealing only with the Iranian question, repeated its lack of morality throughout the history of Iran from early 1953 to date.

The 1979 Iranian revolutionary removed the authoritarian Shah, cancelled all military treaties with the US, openly declared antipathy and hostility towards America, and held US diplomats prisoner. President Jimmy Carter ordered Iranian assets in US banks frozen and announced sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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Since 1979 every single US president retained and even increased sanctions against Iran (1979, 1980, 1987, 1995, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018): mainly because the Iranian leaders continued to reject American influence and its dominance over their country and its policies. The US and its allies certainly didn’t care much about the population’s freedom or even “western values” when they supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. They offered chemical weapons to the dictator, to be used against Iran and against Saddam’s own people in the north of Iraq. The world watched in silence.

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Their aim has been, and apparently always will be, to cripple the Iranian economy and submit the country to the US’s will; they appear to hope that the population will react against the Islamic Republic and that its wealth will fall, once more, into western hands.

Over the years, after the Iran-Iraq war ended, Iran has repeatedly challenged the US and its allies, registering one victory after another. In Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Syria and in Yemen, Iran is not losing; it is creating more ideological allies ready to stand against the US influence in the Middle East. The Iranian goal is not to create proxies – as researchers like to label them – but partners who believe in the support of the oppressed (Mustath’afeen) against the oppressor: put succinctly, to limit US dominance over the Middle East.


The US believes Iran is humiliating it by detaining its sailors (even if the 10 sailors were released hours later with embarrassing photos portraying US weakness and submission), challenging its power when it imprisoned a US-Iranian citizen and only released him following an exchange, and refusing to submit to US primacy and dominance.  On the Iranian side, the Islamic Republic believes the US wants to humiliate and dominate the country’s population and take its resources, and change the current regime system by bringing to power a US puppet. Tehran considers that the objective of any US establishment is to dominate the Middle East, drain its wealth, support sectarian wars, be able to sell weapons, and keep the Arab states in a state of submissive weakness. Indeed, the opposite of uniting and forming a truly powerful continent sitting on gigantic energy resources.

Donald Trump and Iran:

There is a widespread belief that Donald Trump is not really aiming to cancel or alter the Iran nuclear deal as he claims. Trump is continuously postponing his decision, month after month (his last ultimatum to Iran runs for another four months), for reasons which actually seem quite plausible:

  1. To divert the world’s attention from the US forces’ occupation of Syria
  2. To blur the fact that the US forces are protecting an extensive territory still under ISIS, unwilling to defeat the group anytime soon, probably in the hope that this will serve the US foreign policy agenda in the future.
  3. To continue blackmailing Saudi Arabia by showing he is aggressive towards Iran: in reality he is only stirring up a storm in a teacup, every now and then.
  4. To serve the interests of Israel, the US’s main ally, and enjoy the support of the Israeli lobby in the US, for Trump’s re-election, for example.
  5. To avoid Europe distancing itself from the US and ending the partnership.

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei considers Trump’s continuous threat to Iran as an incentive to keep the Islamic Republic stronger than ever. Sayyed Ali Khamenei advised top Iranian leaders to consider China as an example of self-sufficiency and to move away from the US. Nevertheless, the pragmatic government led by President Hassan Rohani insisted in opening up to the west and adhered to its nuclear obligations.

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Rohani, following the nuclear deal agreement with the five UN permanent members and Germany, invited the Iranian people to open up to the west and increase trade exchange with the world. The Iranian president was apparently unaware that the US, by advocating to breach the deal, is uninterested in a partnership basis, and therefore is indeed curbing the Iranian pragmatists, seeking to topple their government – which will benefit the hardliners.

The bras-de-fer between the US establishment and the Iranian government over the nuclear deal will not diminish the Iranian influence and that of its partners in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Moreover, it certainly won’t allow the US to exert any influence or dominance over Iran, regardless of the political ‘colour’ of the government in Tehran.

Iran will not re-negotiate the nuclear deal and relies on Europe to stand firm, confirming its signature and commitment. Europe is in need of Iran because the Islamic Republic is part of the continent’s national security and an advanced guard against terrorism. Europe has had enough of wars and appreciates today, after six years of war, that the Islamic Republic stood firm to protect the regime in Iraq, rushed to help Baghdad when the US stood by, watching ISIS expanding, and prevented a regime change in Syria which would have benefitted radical extremists. These Iranians and their allies are the partners Europe is looking for, ready to stand back from the US, that faraway continent that is less vulnerable than nearby Europe to terrorism and terrorists.

But Iran can’t compete with the US mainstream media, largely dominating the world’s opinion. The western media portray Iran as an interventionist country and attack Iran, and any other Middle Eastern countries, on ‘human rights violations”. It is correct to say that the Middle Eastern values and approaches to human rights are far from ideal. However, no single country in the world (or even dozens of countries united in coalition) can compete with the US responsibility for such a huge mess in its foreign policy affairs, regime change, violation of human rights, and the killing of innocents: a topic very much underplayed by the media. The American establishment values are today at a low level: what counts is the amount of money it can generate from wealthy countries, regardless of their history in violating human rights or in exporting terrorism and hate speech.


The Iranian regime is designated as an exporter of the revolution and accused of financing proxies in the Middle East. But Iran never denied its religious goal to stand by the oppressed, and therefore to arm and train groups to expel the US forces from the Middle East. The question is: can Iran compete with the billions of dollars’ worth of US arms selling in the Middle East? Or with the US’s illegal occupation of sovereign territories (Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to name but a few) – plus the training of militants, including Syrian jihadist Takfiris responsible for many attacks in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and the US itself?

Iran is well established in Syria: it is too late to alter the results of the war in Syria or to curb the many groups of Syrian resistants who – as a consequence of war and a failed regime change – already operate in the Levant no matter what the US will do or say and regardless of how long and wherever its forces will be based in Syria. The US occupation – contrary to US Secretary of State Tillerson’s statement–is strongly expected to be another US failure with no sign of having learnt from history. In any case, the road between Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus – Beirut is safely established and does not traverse the US occupied provinces in north-east Syria.

Of course, the US forces based in al-Tanaf and al-Hasaka can try to blackmail the Syrian government during the expected peace-talks, and perhaps count the trucks travelling on the Tehran-Beirut line and keep an eye on the ground traffic, but for what purpose? Can Donald Trump answer the question: how on earth can the US and its allies benefit from a US occupation of another territory in the Middle East? It can only create more havoc and damage once more its prestigious position as a superpower, constantly to be defeated by Iran and its non-state actor-partners.

La Russie offre aux USA un « rameau d’olivier » turc à Afrin



Par Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

Traduction : Daniel G.

La Turquie vient de lancer son opération militaire baptisée « Rameau d’olivier » dans la région kurde d’Afrin, au nord-ouest de la Syrie. Ce nom de code a été révélé par le chef de cabinet turc, qui a expliqué que l’opération visait à empêcher l’expansion des Unités de protection du peuple et du Parti de l’union démocratique le long de la frontière entre la Turquie et la Syrie, qui représentaient une menace pour la sécurité nationale turque. L’attitude des USA envers les Kurdes à Afrin est des plus intéressantes, car le général américain Vottel a dit qu’il n’était personnellement « pas concerné par ce qui se passe dans l’enclave kurde au nord-ouest de la Syrie », où Washington s’est servi des Kurdes pour attaquer Daech. Mais nous ne sommes plus surpris de voir les USA veiller à leurs propres intérêts sans égard à ceux de leurs alliés, comme les Kurdes irakiens l’on constaté quand Erbil a déclaré son indépendance. Les USA les ont alors tout bonnement abandonnés.

Mais quels sont les détails qui ont été convenus avant le commencement de l’opération qui a permis à la Turquie de s’aventurer dans une zone sous contrôle russe?

Comment les choses en sont-elles arrivées à pousser la Turquie à s’aventurer dans une zone sous influence russe avec sa police militaire, malgré une menace sans équivoque de Damas d’abattre tout avion turc, alors que la Russie renforçait ses positions à l’intérieur de la ville la veille même du lancement de l’opération turque « Rameau d’olivier » contre Afrin?

Les Kurdes ont combattu Daech au nord de la Syrie sous la supervision et la gouverne des USA, au prix de centaines de vies de Manbij à Dabak, sans oublier Raqqa. Ces forces conjointes américano-kurdes ont également convenu avec Daech, après la destruction complète de Raqqa par les forces aériennes des USA, d’assurer le retrait de milliers de militants en échange de leur départ de ce qui était la capitale de Daech, qu’ils devaient livrer sans combat. Daech a également accepté de laisser les très riches gisements énergétiques et d’autres villages à l’est de l’Euphrate aux forces américano-kurdes. Comme l’armée syrienne tentait d’atteindre les champs pétrolifères au moment du retrait de Daech, celui-ci s’est alors vu offrir par les USA une « zone tampon » le long de la frontière, tant que ses militants limiteraient leurs attaques aux alliés de la Russie (l’armée syrienne et ses alliés), en laissant les forces kurdes tranquilles.

L’administration américaine a annoncé son intention de rester en Syrie malgré la défaite généralisée de Daech (même s’il subsiste une poche de résistance encore sous la coupe du groupe terroriste dans la zone contrôlée par les USA à l’est de l’Euphrate, le long de la frontière syro-irakienne). Le secrétaire à la Défense des USA, Rex Tillerson, a affirmé que l’objectif de ses forces était de limiter l’influence iranienne, en faisant des déclarations contradictoires au sujet de la défaite et de la non-défaite de Daech en Syrie. Pour la Russie, la position des USA était suffisamment claire : contrecarrer la présence russe et rester dans un pays qui est sous la protection de Moscou.

En outre, le prétexte allégué par les USA pour occuper une partie du nord-est de la Syrie (« empêcher l’Iran d’étendre son influence », selon Tillerson) est peu convaincant, car la présence iranienne en Syrie date de 1982 et l’augmentation de son influence est directement liée aux six années de guerre.

La forte présence kurde le long de sa frontière perturbait la Turquie, qui a demandé aux USA d’enlever toutes les armes létales des mains des Kurdes. Washington a promis de le faire, mais la Turquie a découvert plus tard que les USA n’avaient pas rempli leur promesse et que les Kurdes étaient en possession de missiles antichars et sol-air guidés laser, ce qui constituait une menace directe contre les forces turques, syriennes et russes.

La Turquie a demandé à la Russie et à l’Iran, qui maintiennent un contact direct avec Damas, d’autoriser ses troupes à contrecarrer les plans des USA en Syrie en affaiblissant davantage les Kurdes. Damas a demandé à la Russie et à l’Iran d’offrir aux Kurdes la possibilité de se distancer de Washington en acceptant la présence de l’armée syrienne dans les villes de Manbij et d’Afrin en lieu et place d’une invasion turque.

Malgré la concentration des forces turques le long de la frontière et l’annonce du lancement de son opération militaire, la Turquie a attendu le feu vert des Russes et des Iraniens avant de procéder. Des représentants russes ont rencontré d’autres Kurdes pour leur dire que l’intention de la Turquie était sérieuse et qu’ils pouvaient sortir de cette situation délicate en donnant suite à la proposition de Damas. Celle-ci a été rejetée par Afrin, dont l’officier responsable restait convaincu du soutien des USA, en refusant ou en étant incapable de tirer des leçons de ce qui est arrivé aux Kurdes irakiens à Erbil.

Une entente tacite a été conclue, en vertu de laquelle Ankara a cessé de soutenir al-Qaeda et ses alliés à Idlib et de considérer l’opération menée par l’armée syrienne à l’est d’Idlib comme une violation de l’accord de désescalade conclu à Sotchi l’an dernier. Pour sa part, la Russie va retirer son contingent de la ville et se gardera d’intervenir dans l’opération « Rameau d’olivier » de l’armée turque.

Les dirigeants syriens et leurs alliés ont demandé à la Russie de leur fournir un soutien aérien à l’ouverture d’un corridor menant aux villes de Foua et Kafraya, assiégées depuis toutes ces longues années de guerre. Cependant, les dirigeants russes ont rejeté leur demande en leur demandant, à la grande surprise de Damas et de ses alliés, d’être patients, car le but est non seulement de libérer Foua et Kafraya, mais aussi toute la ville d’Idlib. Le président russe Vladimir Poutine est résolu à combattre al-Qaeda en Syrie afin de renforcer la position de son pays dans le monde en ce qui a trait à la lutte contre le terrorisme.

Comme il a été rapporté l’an dernier et que les faits confirment aujourd’hui, en se fiant aux USA et à leurs belles promesses, les Kurdes de Syrie et d’Irak sont devenus les grands perdants au Moyen-Orient, gracieuseté de l’inexpérience des dirigeants des USA et de leur manque de compréhension stable (et de crédibilité) des affaires internationales. L’administration en place aux USA semble énormément compter sur la puissance militaire pour maintenir son influence. Elle ne possède apparemment pas cette capacité, primordiale au Moyen-Orient, de tisser des alliances et de consolider les amitiés.

Ce qui se passe actuellement est un sérieux coup porté aux États-Unis par leur allié turc, qui est aussi membre de l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique-Nord (OTAN). La Turquie brandit un « rameau d’olivier » pour porter un coup bas à l’allié kurde des USA, soit un nouveau coup soutenu par la Russie contre une administration américaine peu expérimentée, qui a décidé imprudemment de jouer dans la cour syrienne de Moscou. Les USA n’ont aucun allié en Syrie à l’exception des Kurdes du nord-est de la Syrie dans les provinces d’Hassaké et de Deir Ezzor. Sauf que ces alliés sont sur le point de subir une nouvelle partition, ce qui rendra les forces d’occupation américaines très vulnérables dans un environnement extrêmement hostile.

Russland bietet den USA einen türkischen “Olivenzweig” in Afrin an.


Von Elijah Magnier: @ejmalrai

übersetzt von : @Ozkok_

Die Türkei hat am 20. Januar die Militäroperation “Olivenzweig” gegen die kurdische Region Afrin, nordwestlich von Syrien, eingeleitet. Der Code-Name wurde vom türkischen Stabschef veröffentlicht, der erklärte, dass die Operation darauf abzielt, die Ausbreitung der YPG-Miliz entlang der syrischen Grenze zur Türkei zu verhindern, was eine Bedrohung für die nationale Sicherheit der Türkei darstellte. Die Haltung der USA gegenüber den Kurden in Afrin war dabei recht interessant, denn der US-General Vottel erklärte sich “nicht besorgt über das, was in der kurdischen Enklave im Nordwesten Syriens geschieht”, wo Washington die Kurden zum Angriff gegen den „Islamischen Staat“ benutzte. Es ist nicht mehr verwunderlich, dass die USA ihre Interessen wahrnehmen und nicht ihre Verbündeten, wie es in der nordirakischen Kurden-Region der Fall war, als Erbil seine Unabhängigkeit erklärte. Aber was sind die Einzelheiten, die vor Beginn der Operation vereinbart wurden, damit die Türkei sich in ein Gebiet unter russischer Kontrolle wagen kann? Und wie kam es so weit, dass die Türkei gezwungen wurde, sich ein Gebiet unter russischem Einfluss (Präsenz russischer Militärpolizei) hineinzuwagen. Hinzu kommt die deutliche Drohung aus Damaskus, türkische Flugzeuge abzuschießen, wobei Russland am Tag vor dem Beginn der türkischen Operation gegen Afrin seine Positionen innerhalb der Stadt noch stärkte? Die Kurden kämpften unter der Führung und Kontrolle der US-Streitkräfte gegen den „Islamischen Staat“ im Norden Syriens und erlitten hunderte von Toten von Manbidsch bis Dabak und sogar Rakka. Diese gemeinsamen US-kurdischen Streitkräfte haben sich auch mit dem „Islamischen Staat“ – nach der totalen Zerstörung der Stadt durch die US-Luftwaffe – darauf geeinigt, den Abzug Tausender Kämpfer aus Rakka zu sichern, im Gegenzug dafür, dass sie die IS-Hauptstadt Rakka kampflos verlassen. Der IS stimmte auch zu, das sehr reiche Energiefeld und andere Dörfer östlich des Euphrat-Flusses den US-Kurden zu überlassen. Die syrische Armee versuchte, die Ölfelder zu erreichen, als sich der IS zurückzog. Die USA reagierten und boten dem IS entlang der Grenzen eine “Pufferzone” an, solange die Militanten ihre Angriffe nur auf russische Verbündete (die syrische Armee und ihre Verbündeten) beschränkten und die kurdischen Streitkräfte nicht angriffen. Wenige Wochen später erklärte Washington seine Absicht, trotz der generellen Niederlage des IS in Syrien zu bleiben (auch wenn die Terrorgruppe im von den USA kontrollierten Gebiet östlich des Euphrats an der syrisch-irakischen Grenze noch immer ein Gebiet unter ihrer Kontrolle hat). Der US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson sagte, das Ziel seiner Streitkräfte wäre es, den iranischen Einfluss zu begrenzen, indem er widersprüchliche Aussagen über die Niederlage und die Nicht-Niederlage des IS in Syrien machte. Diese Position war für Russland klar genug, dass die USA bestrebt waren, die russische Präsenz in Frage zu stellen und in einem Land zu bleiben, das unter dem Schutz Moskaus stand. Darüber hinaus ist die Entschuldigung der USA, einen Teil des Nordostens Syriens zu besetzen, um – so Tillersons Aussage -“den Iran daran zu hindern, seinen Einfluss zu verbreiten”, nicht überzeugend, da die Präsenz des Iran in Syrien auf 1982 zurückgeht und sein Einfluss durch die sechs Jahre des Krieges deutlich zugenommen hat. Die Türkei war über die weit verbreitete kurdische Präsenz an ihren Grenzen verärgert und forderte die USA auf, den Kurden alle tödlichen Waffen zu entziehen. Washington versprach, dies zu tun, aber die Türkei entdeckte später, dass das Versprechen der USA nicht erfüllt wurde und dass die Kurden im Besitz von lasergesteuerten Panzerabwehrraketen und Flugabwehrraketen waren, was eine direkte Bedrohung für die türkischen, syrischen und russischen Streitkräfte darstellte. Die Türkei forderte, dass Russland und der Iran, in direktem Kontakt mit Damaskus, ihren Truppen erlauben, bei der Beendigung der US-Pläne in Syrien zu helfen und die Kurden weiter zu schwächen. Damaskus forderte Russland und den Iran auf, den Kurden die Möglichkeit zu geben, sich von Washington zu distanzieren, indem sie die Präsenz der syrischen Armee in den Städten Manbidsch und Afrin anstelle der türkischen Invasion akzeptierten. Die Türkei wartete trotz der Ansammlung türkischer Streitkräfte an den Grenzen und der Ankündigung des Beginns der Militäroperation auf das russisch-iranische grüne Licht. Russische Beamte trafen sich mit anderen Kurden, um die ernsthafte türkische Absicht und einen Ausweg aus der kritischen Situation zu finden, indem sie den Vorschlag von Damaskus weiterleiteten, der von Afrin abgelehnt wurde, dessen leitender Offizier seinen Glauben an die Unterstützung der USA aufrechterhielt, der offenbar nicht willens oder nicht in der Lage war, aus dem, was den irakischen Kurden in Erbil passierte, zu lernen. Eine nicht öffentliche Vereinbarung wurde getroffen, in der Ankara aufhört, die islamistische Organisation Hayat Tahrir al-Scham und seine Verbündeten in Idlib zu unterstützen, und die Operation der syrischen Armee östlich von Idlib und in Richtung der Stadt selbst nicht mehr als Verletzung der Deeskalationsvereinbarung betrachtet, die im vergangenen Jahr in Sotschi erzielt wurde. Andererseits zog Russland sein Kontingent aus Afrin ab und mischt sich nicht in die Operation „Olivenzweig“ der türkischen Armee ein. Die syrische Führung und ihre Verbündeten baten die russische Luftunterstützung, einen Korridor zu den beiden umliegenden Städten Al-Fua und Kafriya zu öffnen, die belagert sind. Die russische Führung lehnte die Forderung jedoch ab und bat sie – zur Überraschung von Damaskus und seinen Verbündeten – um Geduld, denn das Ziel ist nicht nur die Befreiung von Al-Fu’a und Kafriya, sondern auch der gesamten Stadt Idlib. Der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin ist entschlossen, die al-Kaida in Syrien zu bekämpfen, um die Position seines Landes in der Welt im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus zu stärken. Wie bereits im vergangenen Jahr berichtet und nun bestätigt, sind die Kurden Syriens und Iraks, die sich auf Amerika und seine unbeständigen Versprechungen verlassen, dank der unerfahrenen Führung Amerikas und dem Mangel an stabilem Verständnis (und damit Glaubwürdigkeit) in der Weltpolitik zu den größten Verlierern im Nahen Osten geworden. Die eigentliche US-Führung scheint sich stark auf die militärische Macht als Mittel zur Aufrechterhaltung ihres Einflusses zu verlassen: Sie besitzt offenbar nicht die im Nahen Osten besonders wichtige Fähigkeit, Bündnisse zu knüpfen und Freundschaften zu festigen. Was jetzt geschieht, ist ein sehr schwerer Schlag für die Vereinigten Staaten durch ihren türkischen Verbündeten, ein Mitglied der NATO. Die Türkei benutzt die Operation in Afrin, um Amerikas kurdischen Verbündeten unter die Gürtellinie zu schlagen, ein weiterer Schlag, den Russland gegen die unerfahrenen USA unterstützt, die sich unklugerweise entschieden haben, im syrischen Innenhof Moskaus zu spielen. Amerika hat in Syrien keine Verbündeten außer den Kurden des Nordostens in Hasaka und Deir al-Zour. Aber diese Verbündeten sind dabei, mehr Spaltung zu erleiden. Dadurch werden die Besatzungstruppen der USA in einem äußerst feindlichen Umfeld sehr verwundbar sein.

Russia is offering the US a Turkish “olive branch” in Afrin.


Published here:  via 

By Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

Turkey today launched the “Olive Branch” military operation against the Kurdish region of Afrin, north-west of Syria. The code name was released by the Turkish Chief of Staff who explained that the operation aims to prevent the spread of the People’s Protection Units and the Democratic Union Party along the Syrian borders with Turkey, which represented a menace to the Turkish national security. The US attitude towards the Kurds in Afrin was quite interesting, because the US General Vottel declared himself “not concerned about what is happening in the Kurdish enclave in the north-west of Syria” where Washington used the Kurds to attack ISIS. It is no longer surprising that the US look after its interests rather than its allies, as indeed happened in Kurdistan Iraq when Erbil declared its independence; it was promptly abandoned by the US.

But what are the details agreed before the beginning of the operation, allowing Turkey to venture into an area under the Russian control? And how did things get so far, pushing Turkey to venture into an area under Russian influence with military police, and following a clear threat from Damascus to shoot down any Turkish aircraft, with Russia strengthening its positions inside the city the day before the beginning of the Turkish operation “Olive Branch” against Afrin?


The Kurds fought under the guidance and control of US forces against ISIS in the north of Syria and suffered hundreds of dead from Manbaj to Dabak and even Raqqah. These joint US-Kurdish forces have also agreed with ISIS– following the total destruction of the city by the US Air Force – to secure the withdrawal of thousands of militants in exchange for leaving the ISIS capital, Raqqah, and delivering it without a fight. ISIS also agreed to leave the very rich energy field and other villages east of the Euphrates River to the US-Kurds forces. The Syrian army was trying to reach the oilfields when ISIS pulled out, and was offered a “buffer zone”  by the US along the borders as long as the militants limited their attacks towards Russian allies only (the Syrian army and its allies) and did not attack the Kurdish forces.

The US establishment declared its intention to stay in Syria despite the general defeat of ISIS (even if a pocket is still under the terrorist group’s control in the US-controlled area east of the Euphrates on the Syrian-Iraqi borders). The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the aim of its forces was to limit the Iranian influence, giving contradictory statements about the defeat and non-defeat of ISIS in Syria. This position was clear enough to Russia, that the US was aiming to challenge the Russian presence and to stay in a country which was under Moscow’s protection.

Moreover the US excuse to occupy part of the north-east of Syria to – according to Tillerson’s statement -“prevent Iran from spreading its influence” is not convincing because Iran’s presence in Syria goes back to 1982 and its influence has increased directly due to the six years of war.

Turkey was upset by the widespread Kurdish presence along its borders and asked the US to withdraw all lethal weapons from the Kurds. Washington promised to do so but Turkey discovered later that the US promise had not been fulfilled and that the Kurds were in possession of laser guided anti-tank missiles and anti-air missiles, representing a direct threat to the Turkish, Syrian and Russian forces.

Turkey demanded that Russia and Iran, in direct contact with Damascus, allow its troops to help to put an end to the US plans in Syria, further weakening the Kurds. Damascus asked Russia and Iran to give the Kurds the possibility to take distance from Washington by accepting the presence of the Syrian Army in the cities of Manbij and Afrin in the place of the Turkish invasion.

Turkey, despite the gathering of Turkish forces along the borders and its announcement of the beginning of the military operation, waited for the Russian/Iranian green light. Russian officials met with other Kurds to lay down the serious Turkish intention and a way out of the critical situation by forwarding Damascus’s proposition- that was rejected by Afrin, whose Officer in Charge maintained his belief in US support, apparently unwilling or unable to learn from what happened to the Iraqi Kurds at Erbil).

An undisclosed understanding was reached where Ankara stops providing support to al-Qaeda and its allies in Idlib, and no longer considers the Syrian Army operation east of Idlib and towards the city itself as a violation of the de-escalation agreement reached in Sochi last year. On the other hand, Russia will pull out its contingent from the city and will not interfere with the Turkish army “Olive Branch” operation.

The Syrian leadership and its allies asked Russian air support to open a corridor towards the two surrounded cities of Al-Fawa and Kafriya, besieged since the long years of war. However, the Russian leadership rejected the demand and asked them – to the surprise of Damascus and its allies – to be patient, because the goal is not only to liberate Al-Fu’a and Kafriya, but also the entire city of Idlib. The Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to fight al-Qaeda in Syria to strengthen his country’s position in the world to fight terrorism.

As reported last year, and now confirmed, the Kurds of Syria and Iraq by relying on America and its volatile promises have now become the biggest losers in the Middle East, thanks to America’s inexperienced leadership and lack of stable understanding (and therefore credibility) in world affairs. The actual US leadership seems to rely heavily on military power as a way to maintain its influence: they apparently do not possess that ability, especially important in the Middle East, to weave alliances and strengthen friendships.

What is happening now is a very serious blow to the United States by its Turkish ally, a fellow member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey is using the “olive branch” to strike America’s Kurdish ally below the belt, a further blow supported by Russia against the inexperienced US, who have unwisely decided to play in Moscow’s Syrian courtyard. America has no allies in Syria except the Kurds of the north-east in Hasaka and Deir al-Zour. But these allies are about to suffer more partition. This will leave the US occupation forces very vulnerable in an extremely hostile environment.


US forces will remain in Syria until they are forced to pull out


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Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

“The US forces will remain in Syria until they are forced to pull out”. This is what a high ranking source in Syria (a decision maker) said, in response to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who revealed the intention of the US operating in the north-east of Syria to remain in the country to “prevent the return of ISIS”.


“When the attack on Albu Kamal was planned, intelligence reports confirmed the presence of thousands of ISIS militants in the country. The city was a stronghold with huge weapons warehouses, military personnel and trenches not easy to deal with. A large number of attacking forces were involved to surround and storm the city. It was not considered an easy task to dislodge over 2,800 ISIS fighters barricaded in for years, and with a prepared defence plan and tunnels”, said the source.


The commander confirmed that “many weeks were needed to liberate Albu Kamal and eliminate all ISIS militants. We have also taken into account the considerable number of casualties in this difficult battle. However, to our biggest surprise, we were confronted with a much smaller number of militants left behind to slow down the advance and allowing the larger number of ISIS fighters to flee east of the Euphrates where the US forces are operating. Obviously, ISIS considers the US very merciful, offering a safe passage and a secure residence in the area under US control”.


“We hear from the US Secretary of State what we have always suspected: the US wants to stay in Syria to occupy the territory. This means Syria and Iraq should expect further terrorist attacks in the future for two reasons: firstly, because ISIS is re-organising itself under the US’s continuous watch. Secondly, ISIS attacks are expected to resume so that the US can find a continuing reason for its forces to stay in the country”, commented the high-ranking source.


When Donald Trump was a candidate to the presidency, he campaigned that Hillary Clinton, if re-elected, would trigger a third world war by staying in Syria and provoke the dislike of Russia. It is not surprising to see Trump eating his own promises, since it is not the first position he has revoked with conspicuous lack of diplomacy and, indeed, lack of knowledge in world affairs. Today, Trump – following the declaration of his Foreign Secretary – has decided to unlawfully occupy a Syrian territory which is very close to where Russia is operating.


Rex Tillerson’s language was quite confusing: in his latest speech he repeatedly said “ISIS was defeated”- but he also said that, because it “was not defeated”, it required the presence of US forces in Syria. He also gave another contradictory reason, saying that his forces are staying to “stop Iran’s influence” but changed again his focus to speak about the Lebanese Hezbollah issue and its “presence on the Israeli-Syrian borders”.


But ISIS is still in Syria, not only in the north-east under the US protection, but also on the Israeli borders- with Israeli officials’ approval. Both Israel and Tillerson are trying to ignore ISIS on the borders but also the dozens of Syrian groups ready to stand against the US and Israel. These have excelled in urban and guerrilla warfare for years against Takfiris and have learned from Hezbollah’s experience of fighting Israel for decades. They have learned the art of attack,  not just defence; they were formed under fire and in life and death battles. These groups will very likely create a nightmare situation for Tillerson and Israel.


The US forces’ presence in the north-east of Syria will not change anything in respect of the Iranian presence and influence that has continued to increase throughout the years of war, and is stronger than ever. It is indeed US foreign policy that pushed Syria into the arms of Iran. This same policy forced the Syrian President into in bed with Hezbollah and to ask for its involvement and intervention at a time when many countries were conspiring against Syria to change the regime. Again, it is the same policy that pushed Assad to call Russia for help, bringing it back to the international arena and earning it a renewed 49 year contract for its naval base on the Syrian coast.


Actually, most of the things that the US and Israel didn’t want ever to happen have been triggered by the US itself, and materialised in the Levant. The only result they have achieved is to destroy the Syrian infrastructure, with several hundred thousand dead and millions of displaced persons, both refugees and huge numbers who were displaced internally.


What is more, the world order has now shifted, and unilateral, unchallenged US domination is over- thanks to the very same US foreign policy. Washington is trying to revive what is already dead: it therefore cannot be resuscitated. “Those who do not understand their past are condemned to repeat it”. By deciding to occupy further territory in the Middle East, the US is indeed ignoring history: it is useless to preach to the deaf.


Biziraun dezake “EEBB-etako estatu bezero” berri bat Sirian?


By Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

Translated by: Iñaki Pérez González

Gaur egun argi dago Amerikako Estatu Batuetako (AEB) indarrek Siriako ipar-ekialdean mantenduko direla, non Al-Hasaka eta Deir-Ezzoreko kurduak, tribu arabiarrekin batera, indartsu egin diren. Washingtonek “mugak defendatzeko” 30.000 soldaduen eraketa aldarrikatu du,  aldarrikatu berri den “estatu estatuaren barru” honetan.  Galdera zein da: Luzaroan mantendu daiteke estatubatuarren okupazio hau? Galdera honek beste bat, erabakigarria, dakar: Estatu kurdu batek biziraun dezake?

Ez dago dudarik AEB-ek ez dutela nahi Siria utzi eta Errusiak bere kontrola eta presentzia handitu dezan,  behintzat Washingtonek Moskuren eragina Levanten txikitzeko edo traba egiteko aukera duen bitartean. Bere burua okupazio indar bezala aurkeztean, eta ondorioz “estatu bezero” bat eratzeko borondateak, AEB-en jarrera justifikatzen du (Bere buruarentzako, baina ez amerikar herritarrentzat, ezta munduarentzat ere) bere presentzia nahi bezain beste, kurduak  bertan behera uzteko denbora etorri arte. AEB-ek Iranen presentzia Siriako lurraldean eta AEB-ek duten obsesioa Teheranen influentzia txikitzeko Damaskon erabiltzen ari dira gehien bat aitzaki bezela.

Ez dago dudarik AEB-etako indarrek gai direzela Sirian okupatutako lurraldean bere interesak zaintzeko, eta edozein indar erregularren aurrerapenak ekiditzeko. Ala ere, bere soldaduen segurtasuna inguruaren menpe dago, kasu honetan inguru erabat kontrako bat, bai kanpoaldean bai barrualdean ere. AEB-etako indarren eta kurduen aurkako erasoak ez daude guztiz baztertuta. Hori gertatzen bada AEB-ek berpentsatu beharko dute bere presentzia okupatu berri duten lurraldean, etxetik urrun eta non bizi amerikarrak galdu daitezke etekin eskas baten truke AEB-etako segurtasun nazionalerako.

Iranek esperientzi luzea dauka AEB-etako indarrak borrokatzen Ekialde Hurbilean, non talde irakiarrak, Iranek finantziatuta eta trebatuta, funtsezko kalteak eta giza bizitzaren galerak eragiteko gai izan ziren AEB-en Irakeko okupazioan 2003an. Eta hori baino lehen, Errepublika Islamikoa oso gazte zanean, 1983an, talde iraniarzaleak AEB-etako Marineak (legez kontra Libanoko gerra zibilean zebiltzan bitartean) gogor kolpatu zituzten, indar hauen kontrako erasorik handienetako baten.

Noski, AEB-etako indarrek ere esperientzia irabazi dute aktore ez estatalak borrokatzen. Baina esperientzia honek ez ditu babestuko kolpe larriak jasotzetik, horrek bere erretirada ekar dezake goizago edo beranduago. AEB-etako okupazio proiektuak nahiko zulo ditu. Suposatzen da kurdutar 30.000 gizon-emakumeen eginkizunak izango direzala:

-Qamislo eta Ya´rubiya-Albu kamal bitarteko muga babestu, Siriako Armada eta bere aliatuei aurre eginez. Damaskok jada gaitzetsi ditu AEB-etako indar okupatzaileak  eta hauekin lanean ari diren kurduak traidoreak direla adierazi du.

-Al-Hasaka, Ain al-Arab, Tel Abiyad eta Manbijeko muga Turkiarengatik babestu, Turkiak kurduei gerra deklaratu die eta bere mugetan agertu daitekeen estatu kurdu bat kosta ala kosta suntsitzeko mehatxatu du. Ankara ez da begira geratuko Idlibetik estatu kurdu bat sortzen den bitartean. Turkiako presidenteak Recep Tayyip Erdogan mehatxu egiten du egunero Siriako kurduek kontrolatutako lurraldeak inbaditu edo mugan dauden probintziak bonbardatzearekin.

-Irakeko muga luzeak babestu non Herri Mobilizazio Unitateak prest daude AEB-en indarrak kanporatzeko borondatearekin datorren edozein talde (ISIS izan ezik) laguntzeko. Batez be ISIS-eko poltsa bat dagoen bitartean Siriako eta Irakeko mugen artean. Irakek – bere mugen kontrola izan arren – ez du begi onez ikusten ISIS Siria aldeko mugan mantentzea AEB-en babespean, jakitun dago Washingtonek ez daukala taldea amaitzeko asmorik, horrela hainbat mila terroristei Raqqahraino ihes egitea ahalbidetu zuen, eta ISIS erabili dezake Irakeko edo Siriako gobernuen gain “eragina” izateko. AEB-ek Irakeko egonkortasunarekiko duten konpromisoa izan arren, Bagdadek ez du aitzakiarik ikusten AEB-ek ISIS babesteko Siriako ipar-ekialdeko enklabe baten, urte askotan bizi izan diren mugak zeharkatzeko gai den taldea eta lurraldea ezagutzen duena .

AEB-ek Irakeko eta Mundu Islamikoaren beste toki batzuetan bildutako esperientzia erabil dezakete tokiko tribuen leialtasuna erosteko, Irakeko ‘Sahwa’ bezala. Saudi Arabiak kaltetutako eremuak berreraikitzeko prest dago -nahiz eta bere krisi finantzarioa izan- AEB-ko eskaera jarraituz, eta al-Hasaka eta Deir-ezzouren tribu arabiarrak finantzatu eta hornitzeko asmoa dauka. Baina bere leialtasuna edozein erosleri saltzeko prest daunenek ez dute eragozpenik arerioengandik dirua biltzeko baita, Iraken gertatu den bezala. Azken finean, ipar-ekialdeko Siriako tribu arabiarrak Irakeko tribu berberak dira.

-Barne istiluetatik bere burua babestu eta Damaskorekiko leialak diren kurduen eta separatisten arteko borroketatik babestu, eta barnealdean IED edo “hit and run” taktikak erabiltzen dituzten Siriako gobernuaren alde dauden Arabiar tribuek, bere lurraldea berreskuratzeko eta probintziak kurduak ezegonkortu nahian.

-Lurralde zabal bat babestu, 39.500 km-ko azalera duena. Honek esan nahi du militante bakoitzak 1.3 kilometro karratu defendatu beharko dituela etsaiez inguratutako probintzietan, baita “estatu estatuaren barruan” ahalbideratzeko borondaterik ez duten indarrez ere, nahiz eta AEB-ko aire indar boteretsuak eta tokiko zerua inoiz usten ez duten drone-ak egin dezaketena.

Al-Hasakako kurduak (Afrinen eta Alepon kontzentrazio kurdu handiak daude Damaskotik bereizteko asmorik ez dutenak) AEBetako babespean jartzen ari dira beraien buruak mugimendu trakets batean, “lagunak” bertan behera uzten dituzten aliatuak direlarik bere interesak zerbitzatzeari utzi egiten duten momentuan. Damaskok ez du azken finean AEB-etako okupazioa onartuko bere lurraldean, eta Turkia –Siriako lurra okupatzen ari dena baita- baino are handiagoa eta arriskutsuagoa den etsaiari aurre egingo dio.

Badirudi behatzaile batzuek uste dutela AEB-ek Turkia alde batera uztea erabaki zutela bere bezero kurduak babestu eta mantentzeko, hauek Ekialde Hurbileko AEB-etako aliatu hoberen alde agertzeko prest baitaude: Saudi Arabia, eta Estatu Batuetako Aliantza Estrategikoa, Israel. Ikuspegi ahula da AEBetako administrazioa jakitun baitago kurduek ezin dute luze iraun leku hori eusten eta inguruko herrialdeek behar bezain beste itxarongo dutela (bat edo hamar urte) mehatxu hori bere mugetatik desagertarazteko.

Damaskok ez ditu alde batera utziko baliabide energetikoetan aberatsak diren al-Hasaka eta Deir-Ezzor probintziak, eta bere aliatuek AEB-etako indarrak Siriatik modu militarrean kanporatzea babestuko dute. Damaskoko aliatuek dagoeneko entrenatu eta partekatu dute bere gerrila esperientzia gerran hainbat talde siriarrekin, ISISen itzulera saihesteko eta hegoaldeko Golaneko Gainetan eta ipar-ekialdeko Siria erreklamatzeko.

Oraingoz Damaskok  Al-Qaedan (Hay’atTahrir al-Sham-ekin batera 10.000 borrokalari baino gehiagorekin kontatzen dute) eta, ondoren, ISISen ikusten ditu arriskurik handienak. Noski, Siriako gobernuak beti izango ditu Turkiako indarrak desagerrarazteko borondatea, nahiz eta Errusia eta Turkia elkarrekiko beharrezkoak diren aliatuak bilakatu. Turkiako presidenteak zelai erdian mantentzen saiatzen ari da, AEB-etako aldean oin bat jarriz eta beste bat Errusiar aldean, ez bata ez bestea galdu nahian, bietatik onurak lortuz, biek baitute funtsezko interes militar eta ekonomikoak Ankaraekin (eta alderantziz ). Erdoğanek ere Damaskoren ezezkoarekin konta dezake  kurduen “estatua estatuaren barruan” deuseztatzeko, bi herrialdeen helburu komun bezala nahiz eta aliantzarik ez egon eta bi presidenteek, Assadek eta berak, elkarrekiko etsaitasuna deklaratu duten.

Errusiak, alde batetik, Erdogan babesten saiatuko da eta, aldi berean, Afrineko kurduekin bat egingo du, kurduek (Afrinen eta Hasakan) elkarren artean hitz egingo dutelakoan, eta ulertuko dutelakoan zeri egin beharko duten aurre AEB-ek Siriatik alde egitea erabakitzen dutenean.

AEB-etako administrazioak beste behin ere liztor-habi baten sartzen ari da, muskulu militarren bidez pentsatsen (hitz egokia bada), adimenarekin baino, Siriako interesak ziurtatzeko, bere botere militar “aalguztidun” hori Libanon, Afganistanen eta Iraken oso mugatua izan zela ahaztu nahian. Nola uste dezake Donald Trumpen administrazioak Sirian irabaztea posible dela? Amerika gertakarien aurrean hegan egiten ari da.


“ABD’nin Yeni Vekil Devleti” Suriye’de Ne Kadar Yaşar?


Translated by:

Amerikan yönetimi kendini bir kez daha büyük bir belanın içine sürüklüyor. Suriye’de kendi çıkarlarını güvende tutmak için akıllı hamleler yapmak yerine askeri gücüne güvenebileceğini düşünüyor. O “üstün” askeri gücünün Lübnan’da, Afganistan’da ve Irak’ta aslında ne derece sınırlı işler başardığını unutmuş gibi görünüyor.

Elijah J. Magnier : @ejmalrai

Kürtlerle birlikte Arap aşiretlerin kontrolünde olan Hasiçi (Haseke) ve Deyrezzor’da yani Suriye’nin kuzey doğusunda Amerikan güçlerinin kalıcı olacağı ve işgali sürdüreceği artık iyice netleşti. Washington’un, “sınır savunma gücü” olarak adlandırdığı 30,000 kişilik yeni vekil güç projesi açıkça “devlet içinde yeni bir devlet” ilan etmek anlamına geliyor. Burada mesele şu: ABD’nin bu işgal projesi, çok uzun ömürlü olur mu? Bu soru daha hayati bir soruyu da beraberinde getiriyor: Bir Kürt “devleti” ne kadar ayakta kalabilir?

ABD’nin Suriye’den çekilmek istemediği ve sahayı Rusya’ya terk etmek istemediği gayet ortada. En azından Moskova’nın Akdeniz bölgesindeki varlığını yok etmek isteyen Washington, Suriye’de Rusya’nın varlık ve kontrol alanını genişletmesini izlemek niyetinde değil. Rus etkinliğini kırmak ve Rusya’ya zarar verme niyetinde.

ABD, uygun gördüğü zamana kadar Suriye’de kalmaya devam edeceğini ilan ederek aslında kendisini resmen bir işgal gücü olarak tanımlamış ve dolayısıyla Suriye’de açıkça “vekil bir devlet” ilan etmiş oldu. Fakat bu “uygun görülen zaman” ifadesi, aynı zamanda Kürtleri kendi kaderine terk edip Suriye’den ayrılma kararını alana kadar olan süreci (kendi açısından) meşrulaştırma hedefi taşıyor (yoksa ne Amerikan halkı ne de dünya bu meşruiyeti kabul edecek değildir). ABD’nin Suriye konusunda kendine meşruiyet alanı devşirmek için kullandığı ana mazeret, İran’ın Suriye topraklarındaki varlığı meselesi. Washington, Tahran’ın Şam üzerindeki etkinliğini sınırlama konusunda takıntılı hale gelmiş durumda.

Hiç şüphe yok ki Amerikan güçleri, Suriye’nin işgal altındaki topraklarındaki çıkarlarının peşinde olacak ve hiçbir düzenli gücün ilerleme kaydetmesine izin vermeyecektir. Fakat, bütün etrafı düşmanlarla dolu olan kendi askerlerinin güvenliği, konuşlandıkları bölgenin gereği olarak ciddi risklere de gebe olacaktır. Amerikan güçlerine ve Kürt vekillerine yönelik saldırılar çok uzak ihtimaller değil. Dolayısıyla bu durum, Amerikan ordusuna vatanından çok uzakta olan Suriye topraklarını fiilen işgal etme noktasında, çıkarlarını gözden geçirmek için yeni bir mecburiyet oluşturacaktır. ABD’nin ulusal güvenliği açısından küçük çıkarlara hizmet edecek olmasına rağmen bölgesel açıdan geri dönütü çok az olacak bu serüven için Amerikalıların canları heba olabilir.

İran’ın Ortadoğu’da Amerikan güçleri ile çarpışma konusunda geçmişe dayalı büyük tecrübeleri var. 2003’teki Irak işgali sürecinde İran tarafından eğitilmiş ve donatılmış olan Iraklı gruplar, Amerikan işgal kuvvetlerine çok ciddi kayıplar ve zararlar verdiler. Hatta bu süreçten çok daha önceleri, İslam Cumhuriyeti’nin henüz çocukluk dönemleri denilebilecek bir dönemde 1983 yılında,  İran yanlısı gruplar, Lübnan’da Amerikan ordusuna büyük darbeyi vurmuş ve Lübnan iç savaşına gayrı meşru şekilde dahil olan Amerikan donanmasını hedef alarak onlara ciddi bir bedel ödetmişti.

Elbette ki Amerikan güçleri de devlet olmayan aktörlerle savaş konusunda kendi açısından önemli tecrübeler edindi. Fakat edindiği bu tecrübeler, onu önümüzdeki süreçte giriştiği bu yeni serüvende büyük zararlar görmekten koruyabilir gibi durmuyor. Dolayısıyla ABD,  er ya da geç, aldığı bu karardan vazgeçecektir. ABD’nin işgal projesinde daha en başından belli olan eksiklikler ve kusurlar var. 30,000 Kürt’ten müteşekkil güçten beklenen şu:

–          Kamışlı’dan el-Bukemal’e kadar olan bölgede sınırların korunması:  Suriye ordusu ve müttefikleri ile yüzleşme kaçınılmaz. Şam yönetimi, ABD işgalini reddeden açıklamaları sonrasında işgalcilerle işbirliği yapan güçlerin de vatan haini olarak muamele göreceğini açıkça ifade etti.

–          Hasiçi, Aynel Arab (Kobani), Telabyad ve Menbiç’te sınırların korunması: Bu bölgelerde Kürtlere açıkça savaş ilan etmiş olan Türkiye ile yüz yüze gelinecek. Öyle ki Türkiye, ne pahasına olursa olsun, kendi sınırları boyunca asla bir Kürt devletine izin vermeyeceğini deklare etmiş durumda. Orada, bir Kürt devleti filizlenirken Ankara kayıtsız kalmayacaktır. Zaten cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, neredeyse her gün, olası Afrin operasyonunu dile getirerek süreci ısıtıyor. Sınır boylarına yönelik Türk bombardımanı ufak ufak başlamış durumda.

–          Irak ile olan uzun sınırın korunması: Bu bölgede, Amerika’ya karşı harekete geçmek için yardım isteyen (IŞİD dışında) her grubun yanında olacağını açıkça ilan eden Irak Gönüllü Halk Birliklerinin yoğun etkinliği söz konusu. Suriye-Irak sınırında halen varlığını sürdüren küçük IŞİD yapılanmaları da olduğunu da göz önünde tutmak gerekebilir. Sınırın Suriye tarafında Amerika himayesinde varlık sürdüren IŞİD yapılanmaları, kendi sınırlarında kontrolü ele geçirmiş olan Irak’ı oldukça tedirgin ediyor. Iraklılar, Washington’un IŞİD’i bitirmek istemediğinin ve binlerce teröristin Rakka’dan kaçmasına zemin hazırladığının farkında. Öyle ki sınırın Suriye tarafındaki IŞİD yapılanmaları ABD tarafından Irak veya Suriye yönetimlerini “etkilemek/yönlendirmek” için kullanılabilir. Bağdat yönetimi ise ABD’nin Irak’ın istikrarı (aslında istikrarsızlığı) konusundaki açık tavırlarına rağmen, IŞİD’in Suriye’nin kuzey doğusunda ABD himayesi altında olduğuna dair bir delil olmadığını savunuyor ve IŞİD üyelerinin yıllardır yaşadıkları bölgeyi zaten çok iyi bildiklerini ve sınırları kendi çabalarıyla geçtiklerini söylüyor.

Amerika, Irak’ta ve İslam Dünyası’nın diğer bölgelerinde edindiği tecrübeleri kullanarak, bölgedeki yerel aşiretleri para karşılığında satın alarak yeni bir “Sahve” hareketi oluşturmayı deneyecektir. Suudi Arabistan, içinde bulunduğu ekonomik krize rağmen ABD’nin talebi üzerine Suriye’nin kuzeyinde, hasar görmüş bölgelerin onarılması ve yeniden inşa edilmesi konusunda gönüllü olduğunu ilan etti. Üstelik Hasiçi ve Deyrezzor’daki Arap aşiretlerin eğitilip donatılması sürecinde finansör olmayı da kabul etti. Fakat, para karşılığında biat veren söz konusu gruplar, gayet tabi Irak’ta olduğu gibi karşı tarafın da parasını yemeye istekli olup, saf değiştirebilirler. Nitekim neticede, Suriye’nin kuzey doğusundaki aşiretler de Irak’taki aşiretlerin bir parçası sayılırlar.

–          Şam’a bağlılık duyanlar ve ayrılıkçılar arasında yaşanması muhtemel iç tartışmalardan ve iç çatışmalardan korunulması: İstikrarsız Kürt mahallelerinde yaşamaktan vazgeçip Suriye hükümetini desteklemek ve kendi topraklarını korumak isteyen Arap aşiretlerinin vur-kaç taktikli saldırılarından ya da el yapımı patlayıcılardan ABD destekli Kürtlerin korunması gerekebilir.

–          39,500 km2’lik devasa alanı korumaları gerek. Bu şu anlama geliyor: 30,000 kişilik ordudaki her bir militan 1.3 km2’lik alandan sorumlu olacak. ABD’nin en gelişmiş savaş uçakları ve gökyüzünü hiç terk etmeyen İHA’ları ne yaparsa yapsın etrafı düşmanlarla ve “devlet içinde devlet” kurulmasına izin vermeyeceğini deklare eden aktörlerle dolu olan 1.3km2’lik bir alan bu.

Hasiçi Kürtleri (Afrin ve Halep’te de yoğun Kürt nüfusu var fakat buradakiler, Şam’dan ayrılma fikrine sıcak bakmıyor oluşlarıyla Hasiçi’ndekilerden ayrışıyorlar), Amerikan himayesi altına girerek utanç verici bir noktaya doğru sürükleniyorlar. Amerika, kendi çıkarlarına hizmet etmediğini sezdiği anda “dost ve müttefiklerini” satmakla nam salmış durumda. Şam, kendi toprakları üzerindeki Amerikan işgalini asla kabul etmeyerek bu tehlikeli ve büyük düşmana karşı savaşacaktır.

Bazı gözlemcilere göre ABD, Ortadoğu’daki en iyi müttefiki olan Suudi Arabistan’ın ve stratejik müttefiki olan İsrail’in yanında saf tutmayı kabul etmiş olan Kürtleri korumak için Türkiye’yi gözden çıkarmaya karar vermiş olabilir. Bu bakış açısı biraz zayıf kalıyor, çünkü Amerikan yönetimi, Kürtlerin söz konusu kara parçasında uzun süreli tutunamayacağının farkında. Zira civar ülkeler, sınırlarındaki bu tehdidi yok etmek için uygun zamanı beklemekten asla vazgeçmeyecekler (gerek bir yıl; gerekse on yıl)…

Şam yönetimi, Hasiçi ve Deyrezzor’daki zengin enerji yataklarından vazgeçmeyecektir. Şam’ın müttefikleri de Amerikan güçlerinin askeri açıdan Suriye’den temizlenmesi için destek verecektir. Şam’ın müttefikleri, gerek IŞİD’in geri dönmesini engellemek için gerek Golan Tepelerini geri almak için gerekse Suriye’nin kuzey doğusunda kontrolü sağlamak için birçok Suriyeli grubu, gerilla-taktiği tecrübesi ile eğitti.

Bu aşamada Şam, kendisine yönelik en büyük tehdidin (10 binden fazla savaşçıya sahip olduğu tahmin edilen Heyeti Tahrir Şam ile birlikte) el-Kaide’den geleceğini öngörüyor. Sonrasında da IŞİD’den.  Rusya ve Türkiye zorunlu müttefik haline gelmiş olsalar bile, Suriye hükümeti, Türkiye’nin Suriye’den çekilmesi yönündeki taleplerinden de vazgeçmeyecek. Türkiye cumhurbaşkanı, sopayı tam ortadan tutup bir ucunu ABD kampında diğer ucunu da Rusya’da tutmayı deniyor. İkisini de kaybetmek istemiyor ve Ankara ile (karşılıklı olarak) hayati öneme sahip askeri ve ekonomik ilişkilere sahip bu iki süper güçten de eş zamanlı olarak faydalanmayı sürdürmek istiyor. Öte yandan Erdoğan iki ülke arasında bir ittifak olmamasına ve kendisi ile Esad arasında karşılıklı olarak düşmanlık hali sürmesine rağmen Şam’ın da “devlet içinde devlet” yapısını kabul etmiyor oluşunu Kürtlere karşı iki ülke arasındaki ortak bir hedef olarak addediyor olabilir.

Rusya ise kendi cephesinden, bir yandan Erdoğan’ı desteklemek için elinden geleni yapmaya bir yandan da Afrin’deki Kürtlerle güçlü ilişkiler kurmayı deniyor. Böylelikle (Afrin’deki ve Hasiçi’ndeki) Kürtlerin birbirleriyle konuşup tartışarak ileride yüzleşmek zorunda kalacakları ortak tehdit karşısında Amerika’yı Suriye’den birlikte kovma konusunda anlaşmalarını bekliyor.

Amerikan yönetimi ise kendini bir kez daha büyük bir belanın içine sürüklüyor. Suriye’de kendi çıkarlarını güvende tutmak için akıllı hamleler yapmak yerine askeri gücüne güvenebileceğini düşünüyor (eğer doğru kelime buysa)! O “üstün” askeri gücünün Lübnan’da, Afganistan’da ve Irak’ta aslında ne derece sınırlı işler başardığını unutmuş gibi görünüyor. Trump yönetimi, Suriye’de başarılı olabilmenin mümkün olduğuna nasıl inanmış olabilir ki? Amerika’nın ayakları gerçekten de yere basmıyor! Gerçekler, Amerika’nın planlarından hakikaten farklı.

(Çeviren: Enes Berat GÜRLER)